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How much does it cost to build a small bathroom from scratch?

Building a bathroom from scratch can range widely in cost depending on the size, materials, fixtures and finishes you choose. Generally speaking, a small DIY bathroom addition or remodel can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000+, with most homeowners spending $5,000 to $12,000 to build a basic 5×7 or 6×8 foot bathroom.

Key factors that influence the overall cost to build a new bathroom include:

  • Size of the bathroom
  • Layout and plumbing
  • Materials and finishes for the floor, walls, countertops, etc
  • Fixtures like sink, toilet, shower/tub
  • Electrical, lighting, ventilation
  • Permits and labor costs if not DIYing

We’ll break down the typical costs for a DIY small bathroom build below.

Cost to Build a 5×7 Bathroom

A 5×7 foot bathroom is a common size for a small powder room or half bath. This provides enough space for a toilet, sink vanity and potentially a narrow shower stall.

Here are typical costs for building a basic 5×7 bathroom:

Item Cost
Framing and drywall $700 – $1200
Flooring (vinyl, tile) $400 – $800
Toilet $100 – $300
Sink and vanity $300 – $1000
Faucets and plumbing $200 – $500
Shower stall (optional) $500 – $1500
Lighting and electrical $300 – $500
Paint and supplies $100 – $300
Permits and labor (if not DIY) $1000 – $3000
Total $3600 – $9100

As you can see, a DIY small half bath or powder room with basic finishes can be built for $3,500 to $5,000, while hiring out labor and using more premium materials may run $8,000 to $9,000 or more. The biggest cost factors are fixtures like the vanity and flooring finishes.

Cost to Build a 6×8 Bathroom

A 6×8 bathroom has a bit more space for fixtures and moving around. This allows for a larger vanity, walk-in shower stall and potentially space for a linen closet or other storage.

Here are typical costs for a basic 6×8 bathroom addition:

Item Cost
Framing and drywall $800 – $1500
Flooring (tile, vinyl) $500 – $1000
Toilet $100 – $300
Double vanity $400 – $1200
Walk-in shower $1000 – $3000
Plumbing $500 – $1000
Lighting and electrical $400 – $600
Vent fan, trim $300 – $500
Permits and labor (if not DIY) $1500 – $4000
Total $5500 – $12,100

With the extra square footage, costs range from $5,500 to $12,000+ depending on finishes. Key costs for a 6×8 bathroom include the shower, vanity and flooring. Luxury materials like ceramic tile and natural stone can increase costs quickly.

How to Save on Your Bathroom Build

There are several ways to control costs and save money when building a small bathroom:

  • DIY as much as possible – framing, drywall, painting, plumbing
  • Purchase fixtures and lighting on sale or secondhand
  • Use inexpensive flooring like sheet vinyl rather than ceramic tile
  • Install an inexpensive fiberglass shower unit rather than tiled shower
  • Choose a smaller vanity rather than a double vanity
  • Use inexpensive wall finishes like paint and wainscoting instead of tile
  • Shop sales and clearance for sink, toilet, fixtures
  • Get multiple contractor bids and use competitive pricing

By using some economical finishes and shopping sales for fixtures, you can potentially shave $1,000 or more off your total bathroom build cost.

Factors That Increase Your Bathroom Cost

On the flip side, some factors that can increase the cost of a small DIY bathroom addition include:

  • Plumbing reconfiguration – moving pipes is labor intensive
  • Electrical rewiring if bathroom put in new location
  • Using all luxury/high-end finishes and fixtures
  • Hard to access installation areas requiring demolition
  • Poor existing subfloor requiring additional foundation work
  • Custom shower stall with tile, glass enclosure
  • Heated flooring
  • Natural stone tile, countertops and backsplashes
  • Upscale wall finishes like wainscoting, wallpaper or paneling
  • Designer faucets, sinks, lighting and hardware

While these types of high-end finishes can make your new bathroom look like a spa, they add considerable cost to your project budget. Carefully weigh the costs vs. benefits of potential upgrades to keep your total budget in check.

Average Cost Breakdown for a New Bathroom

Based on the typical range of costs above, here is an approximate cost breakdown for adding or remodeling a 6×8 foot bathroom:

Item Average Cost Percent of Total
Framing/Drywall $1200 15%
Flooring $750 10%
Toilet $200 3%
Vanity $800 10%
Shower $2000 25%
Plumbing $750 10%
Lighting/Electrical $500 6%
Ventilation $400 5%
Paint/Supplies $200 3%
Permits/Labor $2500 30%
Total $8200 100%

As you can see, the shower, vanity, framing/drywall and any contracted labor account for the major share of project costs. Areas where you may be able to save include choosing a basic tub/shower unit, smaller vanity, doing your own painting and electrical, and purchasing fixtures on sale or secondhand.

Getting multiple bids from plumbers and electricians is also key to controlling project costs. And doing as much of the work yourself as possible will cut down the need for expensive labor.


Building a bathroom from scratch can vary from $3000 to $15,000 or more depending on the size, finishes and if you DIY or hire a contractor. Realistic costs for a basic DIY small bathroom addition fall between $5000 and $12,000 on average. Key costs include the shower or tub, vanity, flooring, framing and any necessary plumbing. However, there are many opportunities to save through economical design choices, shopping sales and doing the work yourself. With some careful planning and budgeting, you can build a beautiful new bathroom tailored to your needs and preferences.